Wales is facing a US-style opioid crisis

In Europe at the end of the Noughties, the problem drug was krokodil. The semi-synthetic, necrosis-causing alternative to heroin was cheap. My father favoured it so much before his death that he started importing it from eastern Europe into Wales. Across the pond right now, the problem drug is fentanyl, which has made its way into much of the US drug supply. Indeed, it’s become so synonymous with death that many casual users have given up the bag all together (‘I love a line, but I’m not going to die for it,’ one Manhattanite told me recently). More than 75,000 Americans died from synthetic opioids in 2022. And now the

Cindy Yu, Mary Wakefield and Natasha Feroze

18 min listen

This week: Cindy Yu reads her piece ahead of the Taiwanese elections (00:54), Mary Wakefield discusses the US opioid crisis which she fears has come to the UK (07:13), and Natasha Feroze tells us about the rise of relationship contracts (13:26).  Produced and presented by Oscar Edmondson. 

Vital, damning docudrama about the Sacklers: Disney+’s Dopesick reviewed

One of my first jobs in journalism was as the arts correspondent of the Daily Telegraph. I’d hop on my motorbike in my greasy leathers (which I used to wear around the office, much to my then editor Max Hastings’s consternation) and zoom off to all manner of exhibition and gallery openings, many of them somehow related to the name Sackler. The Sackler family at the time were the world’s greatest arts philanthropists, with galleries and museums and rooms named after them from New York, London and Paris to the Far East. Like almost everyone, I had no idea of the source of their apparently limitless wealth. But I knew

Did Chinese fentanyl kill Michael K. Williams?

Did Chinese-manufactured fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, kill Michael Kenneth Williams, the man who played ‘Omar’ in The Wire? Within minutes of his death being announced yesterday, speculation was circulating on Twitter. New York Police Department sources have told the Daily Mail they suspect fentanyl was involved. The world only seems to notice when a celebrity overdoses. In 2016, Prince’s death from a cocktail of fentanyl and other substances was an important milestone in awakening America to the horrific opioid drug epidemic that had crept up on the country since the 1990s. But lots of non-famous people are dying all the time because of fentanyl from China, which has flooded the